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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back Ground Info...

I have been married 12 years with 4 children, 11, 9, 7, and 5. No affairs on either end, no EA either. Thank God. ;). So far no real hiccups except one where I had to work a month of 12 hour days straight, right before Christmas two years ago. The final week, she told me she didn't love me and wanted out.

As per the typical reaction, I was shocked, hurt, and dumbfounded. The next day she said she was sorry and never meant any of it. She said she was only mad and hurt that she had to handle the kids and Christmas shopping by herself and was at the breaking point. At first I was (sort of) relieved that she was only furious at me working that much OT at that time(mandatory OT also), and nothing more than that.
At this moment I still do not believe her 100%completely, but her actions and story has not changed in that time either.

Since then we have gotten past that and have had a good marriage. Gone on dates again finally, once a month, ( its hell finding a babysitter for 4 young kids), and now have Monday afternoons by ourselves. We got out to new restaurants and just do the things we did back when we dated. Some days we make a whole afternoon of doing new things, sometimes we just do what we did when we dated, the point being its just us being together and having one on one time. We are enjoying this time immensely as we have not had this time in a number of years. She has just discovered she loves sushi in this new time, and we have been exploring this new world together. Its wonderful.

I came from a household of old fashioned values. Think Duck Dynasty here, without the COMPLETE ******* lol. My father was beyond Alpha Male, and my mother was a doting mother. I carried those values and behaviors into our marriage and feel it has served us well.

My wife came from a broken home, her grandmother raised her from a young age and is actually quite cold. I joke around and say she was the grandmother from the book Flowers in The Attic lol, my wife agrees most of the time. She does not like to touch hardly ever, never has, and I attribute that to her cold childhood. I am the one who usually reaches out to hold her hand, touch the small of her back, or curl up next to her in bed.



Anyways...:sleeping:

I have been on 3rd shift for the past 7 years, and have noticed a trend of changing behavior in her and I. With the kids ages, homework, and sporting activities, and me getting slightly older, working a high stress job, the time we do spend together is great, but the intimacy is almost slim to none. Maybe once a month. And what I mean by intimacy is where she gets into it, reciprocates sexually and emotionally. If I ask, its usually a 50/50 chance of being turned down. Despite that we usually have sex on average 2 to 3 times a week, a bad week maybe once. Usually its just duty booty, but hey, giving the situation with the kids and the shift I work, I will take what I can right now without complaining too much.


And before I get hammered here...keep in mind maybe the saying you cant see the forest through the trees is a perfect fit here, and maybe Im not seeing the bark on the trees either :scratchhead: I just feel a little lost, scared, and quite honestly panicky sometimes when the intimacy is not there for long periods of time.




I started to notice a change in myself too. I started to turn into the 'nice guy'. Smothering her and basically chasing her away. I did not see it in me at all, until I did a google search and found this website and realized just what the heck I was doing...
I took a long hard look in the mirror and did not like the reflection at all. I read NMMNG and have started subtle changes in myself. Most importantly the 180.

It worked quite well, having her reach out to me 3 days in a row and initiate. I was amazed how well it works. :smthumbup:
I have always been Alpha, at work, play, but I seen the changes in myself and wanted to fix me before everything went past the breaking point.

The 180 is a wonderful start I have been trying to keep it in perspective too, it has been 5 days since she reached out to me, but it is a beginning. Baby steps...:p







So...

I have been wondering how many people on the site work off shifts? Tips? Advice on anything you can come up with? Intimacy? Kids? What have you. How you handle the daily stresses of marriage, and the bumps along the way. How have your marriages been, success stories and the disaster stories too.


I know its long winded and all over the place so please, please bear with me. Im new at this. :eek:
 

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I have been married 12 years.. No affairs on either end, no EA either. Thank God. ;). .. The final week, she told me she didn't love me and wanted out.
Looks like I'm first responder!

Sorry to have to break it to you but here's a couple of quick facts:

1- Almost every spouse who has been cheated on says that they have never been cheated on

2- Almost every spouse that suddenly falls out of love and wants out is cheating with someone else.

3- You are really not all that much different from the statistical norms even though you'd like to believe otherwise.

Sorry you're here and I don't have more positive news for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Looks like I'm first responder!

Sorry to have to break it to you but here's a couple of quick facts:

1- Almost every spouse who has been cheated on says that they have never been cheated on

2- Almost every spouse that suddenly falls out of love and wants out is cheating with someone else.

3- You are really not all that much different from the statistical norms even though you'd like to believe otherwise.

Sorry you're here and I don't have more positive news for you.


Yeah I have read the stories and have noticed the disturbing trend. My eyes may be clouded but not shut. Maybe my optimism is clouding my judgement.

Thank you for responding too btw.
 

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Yeah I have read the stories and have noticed the disturbing trend. My eyes may be clouded but not shut. Maybe my optimism is clouding my judgement.

Thank you for responding too btw.
You're welcome. I'm sorry to have to continue giving you bad news but you're sort of asking for it.

I took a long hard look in the mirror and did not like the reflection at all. I read NMMNG and have started subtle changes in myself. Most importantly the 180.

It worked quite well, having her reach out to me 3 days in a row and initiate. I was amazed how well it works.
For you to say 'the 180 works great' because she initiated 3 day in a row (or however you put it) means that although you read about the 180 and effectively implemented it, you really don't understand it.

It's sort of like reading the users manual for a hammer and then going apesh-t on a screw and flattening it into a piece of wood rather than using a screw driver and walking away with a smug grin thinking your work is done for the day.

The 180 is not some sort of manipulative tool to get your partner to come running back to you!

To view it as such is a recipe for disaster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
You're welcome. I'm sorry to have to continue giving you bad news but you're sort of asking for it.



For you to say 'the 180 works great' because she initiated 3 day in a row (or however you put it) means that although you read about the 180 and effectively implemented it, you really don't understand it.

It's sort of like reading the users manual for a hammer and then going apesh-t on a screw and flattening it into a piece of wood rather than using a screw driver and walking away with a smug grin thinking your work is done for the day.

The 180 is not some sort of manipulative tool to get your partner to come running back to you!

To view it as such is a recipe for disaster.

Like I said, I'm long winded and really didnt get too deep in some areas. That might be one area lol. I understand what you mean about the hammer bashing the screw and that is not what I meant at all. I seen the changes I had to make and I made them for the betterment of me. I was the one who needed the head slap, and I adjusted accordingly. I admit there was a few times I smiled hugely when she asked me to sit with her on the couch and watch a movie with her, and she sat besides me sliding her leg under mine, and when she asked me to sit in front of the fire with her, the slipped into my lap. That hasn't happened in a very long time, and it happened again tonight. I just haven't been chasing and acting like a fool.

Another time was when I was bringing in firewood in the basement and stacking it, she was on the treadmill jogging, when I went out to get another armload she joked that I was using the firewood to get a chance to look at her a** when she was jogging...:eek: Speechless for a few...

Like you said, using the tool properly and seeing it work beautifully. Its just me not acting like a buffoon.


And I need help understanding the finer points, and help from you wonderful people pointing out my mistakes and hopefully avoiding pit falls.






I have to add this as this as an eye opener to me:


Free,
What would happen if you simply began to make some minor alterations to your typical behavior:
1. Stop saying "ILY" first. Just stop doing it. For instance if you always say it when you leave the house in the morning you replace it with something friendly but less "hot". A simple "see you later" in an upbeat voice. That way you aren't leaving without saying "goodbye" you are just cooling the room a bit. In fact in every case where you currently say "ILY" first, replace it with something polite/but less "hot". And when your partner says it to you - just respond with "me to" or "love you too".
2. Stop initiating communication during the day. And please don't keep doing it while telling yourself you had a "valid" excuse. It is very rare that some question/discussion cannot wait until tonight. When your partner reaches out to you be friendly but keep the interaction brief. If he/she sends you a text - you can reply but keep it short and/or funny/playful. But don't flirt - let him/her make things sexual with you.
3. Pick one night a week to do something for you. The gym is best. Cards with your friends is fine. Going to a bar - is not good.
4. Do NOT do a lot more than your fair share of housework/cooking/errands. If you are, start making specific requests of your partner: Can you give me a hand cleaning the kitchen/folding the laundry/etc.
5. Ease up a bit on giving hugs - you don't have to stop - but ease up. Let them hug you/touch you.

Make an effort to be in a good mood when together. And be playful - a little banter/teasing (not about sensitive subjects like weight) is good. And if it turns into a game of chase/tag/or even better a wrestling match over the remote control - that is good. But let your partner meet you halfway on that.

When your partner 'challenges' you on this - do not explain and do not get defensive.
Them: Why didn't you call me today?
You: What?
Them: You usually call.
You: Work was really busy.
Them: Irritated - oh
You: I was thinking we might want to upgrade your cell phone plan?
Them: What?
You: So you can make "outbound" calls/texts when you want to get in touch with me
Them: Very funny
You: Quietly smiling
Thank you again.
 

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Enjoying those benefits of the 180 aren't a bad thing at all, imo. Do it for you, but if you're getting a good response from your wife then that's great!

No advice re 3rd shift, my only comment is that it's not at all bad to be having a great time reaping the rewards of your life-style change.
 

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You have to maintain an emotional connection with your wife on a daily basis. View your wife's connection to her marriage as dangerously thin, and that connection does not come through your hard work and money earning but intstead comes from feelings of happiness and goodness that you provide her through direct interaction on a daily basis. If she does not get those feelings for a short period of time she will be done with the marriage and either get a divorce or more likely cheat. Women don't tend to see the "big picture" of you out working, providing money, her having responsibility of taking care of kids / home... This is a man's way of thinking (logical - I have to work, make money provide resources, she has to take care of kids, keep house ruinning)... A woman's way of looking at things is I need help, I'm bored, he's never home, taking care of kids is no fun, I'm stressed, I'm tired, my husband should see this, my husband should work less and help me more, my husband is a jerk, my husband should know i'm about to cheat on him, my husband deserves me cheating on him becuase he neglects me.
 

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I worked overnights for 3 yrs. What did it get me? A spouse that turned to another woman. Never got I don't love you lets seperate, but I did get the "We were living like roommates". I know only waitress a few nights. I suggest you start doing a little digging.
 

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My sister and her ex-husband had a third shift marriage. He ended up cheating on her and then left her. I remember them talking about how it was so great because they never had to use daycare. Didn't quite work out that way...
 

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Lignums, You and your wife's backgrounds are very similar to my wife and I. Let me say first, you seem to have made a good many positive changes. It's not something that's easy to do when you work that shift. Usually the realization that something has to change only happens after a wake up call like the statement she made. More often than not, when you hear that speech it's too late to come back from.

You were right to take heed. Shift work takes a great toll on spouses and children. Depression and divorce go hand and hand for those who stay on these shifts for long periods of time. You're there 7 years, I know you've seen what happens. You must use any method you can to spend quality time with your wife. (at least 15 hours a week) Do not let intimacy drop off. Make sure you pay attention to her needs. It's very easy for her to resent you for not being around like the other husbands and fathers are.

Let me ask you, how long do you plan to stay on nights? I worked those shifts myself and I always recommended to the young men that worked for me get off those shifts as fast as they could, to lessen the effects on their marriages. I would tell you no different.
 

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:iagree::iagree::iagree:

Anchorwatch is spot on. You have to make spending time together (when you have it) a priority or your marriage will quickly fall apart. The beginning of the end of my first marriage was 3rd shift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Lignums, You and your wife's backgrounds are very similar to my wife and I. Let me say first, you seem to have made a good many positive changes. It's not something that's easy to do when you work that shift. Usually the realization that something has to change only happens after a wake up call like the statement she made. More often than not, when you hear that speech it's too late to come back from.

You were right to take heed. Shift work takes a great toll on spouses and children. Depression and divorce go hand and hand for those who stay on these shifts for long periods of time. You're there 7 years, I know you've seen what happens. You must use any method you can to spend quality time with your wife. (at least 15 hours a week) Do not let intimacy drop off. Make sure you pay attention to her needs. It's very easy for her to resent you for not being around like the other husbands and fathers are.

Let me ask you, how long do you plan to stay on nights? I worked those shifts myself and I always recommended to the young men that worked for me get off those shifts as fast as they could, to lessen the effects on their marriages. I would tell you no different.



I am curently looking for a new job right now. Have not been seriously looking until just recently. In the beginning I did tell her and the kids it was paramount that i keep a regular sleep schedule through the week if there was going to any family time. As it is right now, i get up at 4 and spend the rest of the day with them. I get up at 11 or noon on the weekends and we have the whole day. It sounds crazy, but from what all my friends and family tell me, i spend more time with my kids and wife than they do, on day shift.
Given that the economy is in the crapper, unless certain doors of opportunity open, fingers crossed here, i am stuck on third for a while. I make way too much for me to find a lateral position on days, or start out someplace new. So i just have to grind it out for now.

Also on a positive note... I woke up today to a nooner. Her suggestion... So maybe im doing something right after all.
 

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Good for you. You are doing something right. Keep at it and keep your eyes open for day work.

Here's a read for you to keep things going for both of you, "His Needs, Her Needs" by W Harley.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The 180 is not some sort of manipulative tool to get your partner to come running back to you!
Let me clarify a little, I may have confused you as well as me here!
What I did was cool off what I was doing, but I called it the 180. Some of the things in the 180 list I did for a while, but stopped doing over the years, like working out, doing things with my buddy's once a week, but for the most part I have just cooled way down. Some of the 180 steps and the cooling off steps listed here are kind of similar.

Sorry for the cornfusion...
 

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My husband is going to 3rd shift in a few weeks and not looking forward to it :( I have had thoughts of leaving but not for anyone just leaving lol we already have ZERO sex. We've been married over over a year together 3 years and have a 1 yr old daughter. I just hate sex anymore... we've done it maybe 2 or 3 times in the past god knows how many months. It sucks but we have other issues as well and I'm thinking when switched to 3rd shift nothing will be resolved. Thankfully since I'm back at college now I'll be too busy to even care or worry about wanting to leave just cause or for another man. Never crossed my mind to find another man. How did people handle a 3rd shift marriage????
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
When i went 6 years ago, it was a decision we both made, and we did not have problems back then. Some of the guys here on my shift say they get along better with their wives since they have been on third. I cannot see how, but i am not in their shoes.
 
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